Monday, December 10, 2007

The Truth Is No Defense

The Judgment ThroneMany people have noticed that the accusations hurled at Vlaams Belang over the last few weeks have been based almost entirely on sources from the left (and often the far left) side of the political spectrum. The European sources cited for much of the information are not impartial, to put it mildly.

It’s as if the prosecution’s case were argued, but none for the defense, while the prosecutor did double duty by sitting on the judge’s bench.

All of this comes as no surprise, since the success of Vlaams Belang and the prospect of an independent Flanders threatens the entire mission of the Left, not just in Belgium but across all of Europe.

As Richard Miniter noted a few weeks ago:

The Vlaams Belang is a mixed bag, like all genuine grassroots parties. I have met the party leaders. While they are not as free-market or as tolerant as [Paul] Belien, they are not racists. Their closest American equivalent is Rep. Tom Tancredo, who while given to a single-issue mono-mania is also not a racist.

I suspect that Charles Johnson has not met any of the Vlaams Belang leadership or even interviewed them. He is simply following a left-wing link. He does not offer evidence, based not on his own experience, reporting or careful deliberation, but simply links to web sites of virulent critics — virtually all of whom have not interviewed party leaders or spent any time understanding the nuances of Belgian politics. The blind leading the blind.

These sites simply repeat a left-wing prejudice against the Vlaams Belang, which no matter how imperfect is not a bunch of neo-nazis. The European left wants large numbers of Muslim immigrants — they need the votes to make up for the loss of working class and union votes that have been slowly migrating away from them parties for the past two decades. And the Muslim migrants vote overwhelming for the left in every western European country.

Of course, any party that threatens the left’s hold on power (by calling for restrictions on immigration, measures to protect the rights of women and Jews and so on) is immediately branded racist or worst.

Why take the word of political rivals’ at face value — without contacting the accused yourself? Do you we turn to right-wing ideologues for objective coverage of Hillary Clinton? Or do we weigh their statements against evidence?

Gates of Vienna is fortunate to have ProFlandria as a Flemish correspondent. He can break through the linguistic barriers and help make sense of the intricate wiring diagrams of Belgian political connections.

This morning he sent us an email with more background information on the Flemish situation, and has given his permission to add footnotes to it and turn it into a post:

LGF has apparently decided to consider only arguments that reinforce their original position. Unfortunately, those arguments come from the left side of the spectrum of Belgian politics.

This also happens to be the driving force behind such enormities as extending voting rights to immigrants, etc. The Left are losing their traditional blue collar constituency to Vlaams Belang and N-VA (Nieuw-Vlaamse Alliantie), and they desperately need a new electorate to stay in power.

Leftist politics is an exercise in promising your electorate the rewards of other people’s industrious efforts, which is why the Socialist and Green parties (both Flemish and Walloon) so strenuously defend the Belgian state construct. Without the massive transfer of wealth from Flanders the leftist shell game simply collapses.

Political parties that endorse the notion of any kind of meaningful autonomy for Flanders (from federalism to independence) must therefore be fought by any means possible. This even extends to the Judiciary, which saw fit to condemn Vlaams Blok (Vlaams Belang’s predecessor) for “racism” on the strength of a folder claiming that proportionally, most crime in Belgium was committed by immigrants.

Upon being advised that the claim clearly referenced official statistics, one of the presiding judge’s response1 was that “the truth is no defense”. Vlaams Belang was convicted under a law that was enacted retroactively; the only possible explanation is that the intent was to capture Vlaams Blok’s earlier, more extremist period.

The forces arrayed against Vlaams Belang — the only party lobbying for a sane immigration policy in Belgium — are all the entities whose power derives from the Belgian state construct: the monarchy, the media, the “traditional” Flemish parties, the unions, and all Walloon parties (including VB’s counterparts). The way the Belgian state is constructed, all party financing comes from the government.
- - - - - - - - -
The government also transfers unemployment funds to the unions together with a handsome fee for every member on their rolls. The unions are organized according to their party affiliation, and only in second place according to the trades represented. It is not surprising, therefore that the unions sometimes appear to be extensions of the parties they represent. This is not a secret, and it doesn’t have to be — this arrangement is part of official policy. The media is also expected to parrot the government’s positions because the previous Prime Minister (Verhofstadt) demonstrated repeatedly that he cold force editors to “amend” reporting. On more than one occasion he even had editors and reporters fired.

I think that part of our disagreement with LGF — apart from their demonstrable lack of interest in an exchange of ideas — is that they genuinely can’t see that they may be victims of exactly the treatment they suspect we are receiving from the Flemish “vast right wing conspiracy”. If our suspicions are correct, it is quite possible that they are being fed information from professional activists tied to the Belgian political entities I described. It doesn’t help that LGF self-selects their sources to support their original theory.

Now, for anyone who wants to extend me a membership in the Tinfoil Hat Brigade, I know it’s a stretch and Occam’s Razor always applies. So, let me go even one step further and then I will try to show how the unlikely can become plausible.

One other entity in Belgian politics is freemasonry. The main lodge in Belgium is “Loge van het Grootoosten” (Lodge of the Greater East), which, incidentally, is not recognized by most of international freemasonry because of its anti-religious and specifically anti-Semitic stance.

The Grand Master of the lodge is Jacky Goris. Goris was interviewed2 in a national newspaper (last year I believe) after it became known that he had sent a communiqué to the Brothers instructing them to “fight Vlaams Belang in all aspects of their lives”, which we can by implication assume to include their professional lives. A majority of judges are Brothers, including those on the panels that have been convened in attempts to prosecute the party. The first step of VB’s defense, therefore, always starts with a request for all judges who hold “Grootoosten” membership to recuse themselves — a tactic that has enjoyed limited success.

I know this all sounds very conspiratorial, but the astonishing fact is that this collusion across the anti-VB coalition is open and above-board. Two “rival” unions can exchange correspondence coordinating the expulsion of members known to belong to Vlaams Belang, thus depriving them of unemployment benefits. The Socialist newspaper De Morgen can have an amicable interview that allows Goris to champion his political activism through freemasonry. The Court can prosecute a political party after losing the complete indictment, and it can convict without proving the original accusation — even after investigating twenty years’ worth of VB publications. Some media outlets made a timid pro-forma protest, but that was it.

LGF has no insight into any of this, nor will they if our theory is correct. Indeed, what is a stark reality in Belgium sounds like political fiction to any well-adjusted adult in the US. Even if Charles Johnson could find a translator he considers trustworthy, I don’t think he could believe the translator’s work if it focused on documenting the interdependencies within the Belgian construct, and the built-in bias that perpetuates Flanders’ second-class status. No self-described democracy could possibly function this way, and stay a democracy.

The Belgian conundrum really deserves its own English-language blog. Flemish Republic has done stellar work, and Paul Belien’s Brussels Journal is indispensable. However, as both have ties to Vlaams Belang, I fear they will always be tarred as propaganda outlets.


1. The original conviction is not available except upon written request to the Court of Appeals in Ghent. However, the Clerk did release a summary in pdf format for public consumption.
2. The interview with Goris was on 22 or 23 January 2005; De Morgen does not allow for easy archive searching. VB’s website has summaries, but we can’t really use those because they are, of course, “suspect”… The same goes for the union collusion to expel VB members. More information is available at Flemish Republic (in pdf format).

36 comments:

Sodra Djavul said...

Slightly OT
Charles has just posted a hit piece on Huckabee.

For those of you unfamiliar with American politics, Huckabee is one of the Republican candidates who would win strongly in the South of the country, along with Fred Thompson.

Both espouse traditional conservative christian values, which I suppose CJ feels is no longer his "base."

This is shameful.

My support for the Vlaams Belang comes from a position of these same values. Their political position is most closely aligned with the United States' own traditional christian conservative values.

LGF is moving into uncharted territory - demonized by the left, and regarded as superfluous by the right.

Maybe he'll be President, as one poster alluded to in a previous thread. But Huckabee will be President first.

- Sodra

1389 said...

LGF has become purely destructive - or maybe it always was.

Here's a category link to the articles on 1389 Blog that deal with the decline and fall of LGF.

There is no intelligent life over there any more, except perhaps for a few people who are afraid to say anything.

Baron Bodissey said...

Sodra --

C'mon. let's be fair. That's not really Charles' hit piece, it's NRO's. And NRO, whether you agree with the article or not, is a sane outfit.

I have mixed opinions about Huckabee. But one thing you can be sure of: he's not much like Giuliani. Maybe that's the key here...

Sodra Djavul said...

Yes, Baron, you are sane as always. sigh... :)

It is the NRO's hit piece.

But you're right, the reason it gets play on LGF is because it's not Giuliani.

Maybe I'm just too much in the Huckabee/Thompson/Tancredo camp to see the light...

- Sodra

P.S. But the commenters over at LGF sure understood his intent. 4 postings in it's comparing Huckabee with Ron Paul.

P.P.S. Just sayin'.

Sodra Djavul said...

I must also add that I think Huckabee is misguided on Iran.

However, the "southern" pull is strong on him versus Giuliani. I really wish I could vote for a Thompson/Tancredo ticket, to be honest.

But yes, Huckabee has his faults, too.

Choices of good versus better.

- Sodra

Charlemagne said...

How have the European Left come to believe that they will survive should their countries become majority Muslim? Or do they just not care because they will be dead by then?

I can't vote for Huckabee (I live in Little Rock, Arkansas BTW). He is simply too Liberal and soft and squishy on too many issues like illegal immigration and dealing with Iran.

I post on LGF about once every other day. It's sometimes hard to rise above the din of off topic conversation to engage in real thought provoking debate.

Paul Green said...

ProFlandria's information on the anti-Semitic and anti-Vlaams Belang freemasonry lodge, many of whose brothers are judges, explains the freemasonry symbol on a cartoon judge's bench in a VB youth magazine, noted here. A damned unfortunate misunderstanding, one of many.

Jungle Jim said...

Charlemagne, I think you may be onto something when you say "they [European Left] don't care because they will be dead by then".

This brings to mind the imminent difficulties that we will face concerning Social Security and Medicare in the USA. For many years, the left in the USA continued to clamor for larger and larger benefits for retirees. They conveneintly ignored the problems that would be faced by future generations when the age group demographics turned unfavorable, because many of them knew that they would be dead by then.

Cincinnatus said...

I quite like Giuliani.

whiskey_199 said...

In this case I agree with Johnson and NRO.

Huckabee is an open borders / amnesty candidate.

Huckabee has a long and public record of pardoning or pressing for release, convicted rapists and murderers (out of a Christian conviction). Another Dukakis coming from a Christian instead of Liberal perspective. One with very active opponents in the case of murdered family member survivors.

Huckabee is weak on Iran, Iraq, and Afghanistan to say the least.

Huckabee is ignorant on all affairs wrt National Security.

Huckabee is appalling on the CIA, Gitmo, and other aspects of the War on Jihad.

Huckabee is of the school of "let's apologize for Western Christianity and Muslims will stop blowing us up!"

Huckabee is untried, untested, from a small and scandal ridden state without much press scrutiny.

By contrast, though they each have their faults, Romney, Rudy, Thompson, all have had extensive press scrutiny, their flaws and scandals well known by all, and are all generally solid in most aspects of national security.

Richard said...

I side with Whiskey on Huckabee. Unless you want another Bush but even weaker, then Huckabee is your choice.

Personally, I think only Tancredo really gets it on this war and the immigration issue.

My 2 criteria for my vote is the border and the war with Islam.
Huckabee fails big time on both.


Elric66

Mr. Smarterthanyou said...

GOV will go to hell like LGF if dipshits are allowed to post completely off topic stuff like this.

This thread needs cleaning, and Sodra needs a spanking.

Anonymous said...

I hadn't read this before

Richard Miniter is incredibly well respected. He completely laid waste to LGF. This is as thorough a spankdown as can be possibly imagined. Basically "You don't know anything about this issue, so keep quiet."

Not to mention that Miniter is a best-selling author of some very well-researched books, and evidently knows a lot about Belgium...

Why does a spandex-wearing hippie from Southern California have even an ounce of credibility on this?

Sodra Djavul said...

Mr.Smarterthanyou,
I sincerely apologize for going off topic. Being somewhat new to GoV I wasn't aware of the stigma associated with it.

Please send Mrs.Smarterthanyou over and we'll get right on that.

- Sodra

Nyog of the Bog said...

-Baron and Dymnphna,

You've said repeatedly, you would like to put this subject behind you and move on. Yet as this post demonstrates, the time for rest has not yet come and I want to applaud your continued vigilance! Please do, "keep on, the keepin' on" and let no accusation go unchallenged. I know I speak for the many when I say, we will be with you all the way!

jeremy said...

Trouble with LGF is that he decided to become just another mainstream right wing trumpet, not much different that Rush Limbaugh. So he puffs his blog up with the usual trashy hit pieces that would warm any dittohead's heart. And they are just as politically correct as as the liberals they whine about. So anything on the right that smacks or nativism or nationalism, they trash. To them, right is good and it means what Anne Coulter defines as right. Anything else is liberal/leftists/Stalinist/Nazi so on and so on. They even call Nazis leftists cause there was some element of socialism. But Hitler wasn't diverting major war resources at the end to burn the middle class or aristrocats at Dachau. Nor id he think class warfare was teh engine of history, but if you have a fifth grader's grasp of history and social science, it makes sense.

laller said...

I still don't get the fascination with attacking the source rather than the material. Why this fascination with the source being a leftist person or a leftist site? If the material is wrong, then focus on the material and not where the material comes from. If it's wrong, then show it's wrong...
All this pushing past the material and attacking the source is gonna accomplish what? Nothing. You're not gonna show it's wrong. In fact, you are more likely to lend credibility to the material by ignoring it and attacking the source instead. I suspect that isn't your goal, so stop gunning for the man and start gunning for the ball.

jeremy said...

"Huckabee has a long and public record of pardoning or pressing for release, convicted rapists and murderers (out of a Christian conviction). Another Dukakis coming from a Christian instead of Liberal perspective. One with very active opponents in the case of murdered family member survivors."
Hasn't anyone noticed, or is honest enough to notice, that liberal(not Marxist) perspective is derived from Christian? They both talk about promoting peace, understanding and forgiving your enemy, loving your neighbors, sharing the wealth with the poor and a creating a universal brotherhood of man. The right in america these days is so hypocritical about religion: they think Jesus blesses their guns & SUV's and wants tax cuts and thinks the USA is number one.

ProFlandria said...

laller,

Your point is well taken - but consider that the substance of LGF's propositions has already been counter-argued.

I should point out that Charles was first in questioning our sources, even though we used MSM sources wherever possible. Now, I'm no huge fan of tit-for-tat arguing but I thought that Charles' exclusive use of non-mainstream sources made him much more vulnerable to aggregate bias.

Having taken care of responding to the substance of Charles' arguments, it is not unreasonable to illuminate the nature of his - to my mind - uniformly slanted sources and the political underpinnings they draw from.

Finally, I think the piece can stand on its own as an "atmosphere piece" on the Belgian political landscape.

Having said that, I'm glad you chimed in with your comment. Although I don't believe that the totality of our efforts on this subject has been targeted at "the messenger", it never hurts to get an occasional reminder not to loose the wood for the threes... It serves to keep me both honest, and on-topic.

David said...

post:[T]he accusations hurled at Vlaams Belang over the last few weeks have been based almost entirely on sources from the left (and often the far left) side of the political spectrum. The European sources cited for much of the information are not impartial, to put it mildly.

That is an extremely silly complaint unless you have some evidence that those sources are factually misleading. The evidence gathered at those websites are things like photographs, videos, and sourced quotations from newspapers. Perhaps those sites also contain rumour and innuendo, but such things have not been cited against VB in this English-language debate. How do these exhibits constitute "a left-wing prejudice"? Where else are these supposed to be catalogued? What information that LGF is being "fed" (a claim that is itself pure speculation) is inaccurate as opposed to just misinterpreted? Isn't this information corroborated by the contents of DeWinter's bookshelf? By photos from the party's own webpages? By their links with groups like "pro-Koeln" founded by two former NPD and Republikaner members? And so on and so on.

There have been plenty of defenses of VB in the blogosphere--but no one is buying it except those already predisposed to ethno-politics. These defenses can muster their own evidence for their case, and to my knowleddge no one from the opposing side has disallowed such evidence just because it comes from VB supporters. The problem with the evidence presented by the defense (e.g., similarity of DeWinter's celtic cross to the Ijzer cross) is that it is entirely unconvincing on its own merits.

Compare the use by the anti-VB lot of material from left-wing sites to the the way your own "pro" sources are used uncriticallly. Consider the claim here that the judge in the VB case said "truth is no defense." It is not even clear from that blog you cite whether that is really intended to be a quote from the judge rather than an interpretation. That blogger certainly does not attempt to provide any evidence that the judge said this.

I have also seen an appeal to the VB platform to prove that they are not a racist party. This very post demonstrates that even the slightest hint of racism in the platform would be illegal and would result in the banning of the party. Doesn't that suggest that the platform is not a reliable source for this? That is a truly racist party also could not have anything racist in their platform.

I'm glad that Mr.Miniter and the anonymous author of this post have looked into the eyes of VB members/defenders and have found them to be good guys and not at all racists. But don't you see that that that is merely anecdotal, subjective, and unreliable evidence? You would have your readers trust your authority on this--and those predisposed to do so will trust you no doubt.

Also, am I mistaken in my belief that Belgium already has a moratorium on new immigration?

jeremy said...

As long as Vlaam Belangs isn't proposing about mass murder or wars of conquest, they should be given a fair shake. Why is nationalism/tribalism okay for a third world dungpile country but when a western country feels the same, they are heinous?
I've always felt that the house in a neighborhood analogy is the best: you have a right to decide who lives or comes into your house and yard but as a good neighbor, you try to be open and helpful as possible.

Archonix said...

David, you're being disingenuous yourself here. The defenders of VB are doing their damned best to prove a negative and doing remarkably well, whilst you are not actually answering their evidence but instead focusing on the niggling detail of the precise dimensions of a solar cross. So what if it doesn't have the exact curv, length of arm and little twiddly bits on the points that another cross has? I mean, hell, I have a dozen little christian crosses of all sorts of shapes around the house, but I don't go around comparing their details and pronouncing one as greek, another as lutheran... they're all catholic and anglican actually but I'll be damned if I can tell which is which.

All of your evidence amounts to a lot of hearsay and circumstance. The evidence arrayed against you effectively demolished every argument that Charles presented, which is why you lot are resorting to demanding exact dimensional comparisons between symbols to try and prove something. Well.

The source matters a great deal. These people accuse anyone who is even remotely to the right of Lenin of being racist. They beat people up for wanting to be proud of their own culture. They try to kill people for wanting to be something other than good, obedient slaves of the state so yes, I think it is entirely legitimate to question the sources that Charles is using because they make this sh*t up.

For the record a number of EU member states have issued moratoria on immigration from OUTSIDE the EU, though I have no idea whether this includes Belgium. That is, several nations have declared that immigration from non-EU nations is currently being limited but, frankly, that doesn't do much because there is a twofold problem: first, the large number of internal migrants within the EU - millions from eastern and central europe moving to western europe, which is often a much greater concern for indigenous populations than the "obvious" african and aian immigrants - and the fact that these moratoria are both illegal under EU directives on immigration control and ineffective anyway, being applied only in some countries and not others. Immigrants from north africa, pakistan and central asia are still flooding into countries without any moratorium, claiming citizenship and then using these EU passports to freely travel within the EU to nations that have these moratoria in place. In short, any moratorium on external immigration is meaningless. Belgium cannot place a moratorium on migration from other EU member states without facing a challenge from the Commission in the ECJ and, in fact, to face such a challenge would bolster VB's campaign enormously because it would reveal how little power the Belgian government has over its own internal affairs.

Chip said...

Freemasons?

I shall await the Nicholas Cage film to see how all this turns out.

laller said...

Proflandria

It wasn't your piece in particular I was writting about. It was also relating to the comments on this site as well as Fjordmans piece about LGF. I even wrote a similar comment on Fjordmans piece.

There's nothing inherently wrong in questioning the motives of sources, but you really have to attack the material if your intent is to show mistakes or outright lies, as that's the only thing that stands a chance of making "opponents" think twice.
I know it's a very natural thing to attack the integrity of sources; I've done it myself in debates. That it's a natural thing to do does not make it the correct thing to do, however. It would be better to simply summarize the accusations and counter-arguments every time the opposition spouts something "ignorant"(won't hurt to have new evidence to support ones case, when doing this).
Another good thing to do when new accusations are raised, is to do a summary of previous accusations and counter-arguments(especially in a case such as this, as it stretches over a relatively long period of time), and then present the counter arguments to the latest accusation. You may end up with a huge post, but that way nothing will be forgotten and you keep showing(for those who've forgotten or those who are newcomers) that your previous arguments have met no counter-arguments, just pure dismissal...

Anyway, that's just my oppinion.

ProFlandria said...

David,

The thrust of my post is not so much a complaint that LGF's sources are "left-wing", but that those sources likely have political ties.

"The evidence gathered at those websites are things like photographs, videos, and sourced quotations from newspapers."

As I'm sure you're aware, absent supporting evidence, photos and videos can easily be interpreted in various different ways... and most of them will be wrong.

"There have been plenty of defenses of VB in the blogosphere--but no one is buying it except those already predisposed to ethno-politics." I might just as well say that there have been plenty of attacks on VB, but no one is buying it except those already disposed to multiculturism. These kinds of statements are hard to support - except in my case, I can point to the "meteoric" (well, in a multi-party environment anyway) rise of VB among the electorate in the face of unremitting hostility.

"These defenses can muster their own evidence [...], and to my knowledge no one from the opposing side has disallowed such evidence just because it comes from VB supporters." Charles has dismissed GoV (and CVF) material while accusing the posters of being in league with neo-nazis, which is even worse. Name-calling doesn't make much of an argument...

"The problem with the evidence presented by the defense (e.g., similarity of DeWinter's celtic cross to the Ijzer cross) is that it is entirely unconvincing on its own merits."

It may be entirely unconvincing to you, but that is your opinion, not a statement of fact. If you have read the material, you should at least come away with a sense that the information presented places LGF's "findings" in a different light.

As far as sourced quotations from newspapers, I would be interested in seeing them. Please don't read even a hint of sarcasm in this statement - I mean exactly what I said. Links to actual Belgian MSM material are hard to come by. On-line subscription is typically by sending a text page on your cellphone; the service gets billed to a few specific phone companies - and none of them are US-based. The only exception is De Standaard where you can go month-to-month by credit card, but their archive is not exactly comprehensive.

Case in point: "Compare the use by the anti-VB lot of material from left-wing sites to the the way your own "pro" sources are used uncriticallly. Consider the claim here that the judge in the VB case said "truth is no defense." It is not even clear [...] whether that is really intended to be a quote from the judge rather than an interpretation. That blogger certainly does not attempt to provide any evidence that the judge said this."

I would have LOVED to find a solid source for this. All I could find was a Clerk of Court summary of the verdict with several paragraphs deleted, and no trace of the "money quote". The quote may in any case not have been part of the verdict, but would more likely have occurred during an argument by the defense.

That said, the (possibly apocryphal?) quote illustrates the kafkaeske nature of both the prosecution and its verdict. Stephen Pollard has an excellent article in the Times of London, in which he says that "the real reason why the Belgian authorities have been bent on banning the VB for years has nothing to do with racism and the rights of immigrants. It is that the party advocates secession from Belgium and the establishment of a Republic of Flanders. Worse still, as Belgium’s only conservative party it upsets the country’s cosy political applecart. The Belgian Establishment has responded not by defeating it in argument but by banning it. [...] I hold no brief for the VB; and were I to have a vote in Flanders, I would not vote for it. But that is not the point. What happened in Ghent on Wednesday is a frightening, but classic demonstration of the political mindset which lies behind the EU’s “ever-closer union”: if you do not sign up to certain beliefs then your politics are, by definition, beyond the pale and thus illegitimate. [...] When a Flemish judge refused to issue a judgment [roughly the same charge in 1999], arguing that these were matters for the electorate rather than the courts, the head of the Centre for Equal Opportunities, the quango which had brought the case said that he would continue appealing until he had found a judge who would find against the VB. This week one emerged: Alain Smetrijns, who happens also to be the chairman of the Lions Club in Ghent, a francophone pro-Belgian unity group."

You said, "I have also seen an appeal to the VB platform to prove that they are not a racist party. This very post demonstrates that even the slightest hint of racism in the platform would be illegal and would result in the banning of the party."

If you are implying that racism is the reason the party was banned, and therefore their platform was at odds with their philosophy, you're wrong. The party was banned because it is openly secessionist, and has been for almost 30 years. The consequences of their success would spell disaster for the mainstream parties, especially the Walloon Socialist party. I will add that Yves Desmet, editor for (Flemish left-wing daily) De Morgen can use the term "kutmarokkaantjes" - a conflation of a slang word for female anatomy with a diminutive for Moroccans - to refer to that population group, without ever being indicted for racism. None of the "offenses" VB was convicted of, came even close to this. Other examples abound; if you're interested I can compile you a list. Because, you see, "racism" is just fine as long as it's a flaw in the "right" people.

"Doesn't that suggest that the platform is not a reliable source for this? That is a truly racist party also could not have anything racist in their platform."

In other words, A party's platform is in no way indicative of its true ideas. I'm sorry, but that's more than a little unreasonable. I don't see how ANY party could have a public platform that is significantly at odds with its ideas, and thrive. It doesn't make sense.

"I'm glad that Mr.Miniter and the anonymous author of this post have looked into the eyes of VB members/defenders and have found them to be good guys and not at all racists. But don't you see that that that is merely anecdotal, subjective, and unreliable evidence? You would have your readers trust your authority on this--and those predisposed to do so will trust you no doubt."

Speaking for myself, I have never met any of VB's representatives. I come from a "culturally" Flemish family of "good" Belgians. I came to support VB only after much soul-searching. Nazis - real or decafeinated - will never appeal to me; they came too close to preventing my ever being born.

Four things convinced me that VB was "respectable enough": First, for a party suspected of preparing the next Holocaust (or what have you), their members are remarkeable restrained even in the face of violent provocation. Second, VB is the only party that proposes a realistic solution to the bankrupt trainwreck that is Belgium. Third, they are the only party that is not afraid to tackle the taboo that is immigration - and that's exactly what it is.
Fourth, the VB positions deemed beyond the pale in Belgium can be espoused by parties in The Netherlands, for instance, while still being considered mainstream.
That, and my ability to translate Flemish/Dutch fluently, is the extent of my authority.

"Also, am I mistaken in my belief that Belgium already has a moratorium on new immigration?"

Alas, you are. The most recent piece of immigration legislation is called the "Snel-Belg Wet" - the Quick Belgian Law. In effect, it mandates the naturalization of immigrants even if they have committed crimes in Belgium. As a fairly recent US Citizen, I can tell you that US immigration olicies (towards Europeans at least) are no less stringent than what VB proposes.

ProFlandria said...

Chip,

See, I knew somebody from the Tin Foil Hat Award Committee would be scouting for their next laureate...

All joking aside, there's a reason why your average Belgian has zero confidence in the Judiciairy. I have a copy of a treatise on the Greater Orient Lodge, and as sparse as it is, the interviews with "Brothers" are enough to make you seriously doubt the integrity of the separation of powers in Belgium.

That said, I'm no fan of conspiracy fiction (Da Vinci Code, for cryin' out loud - badly written to boot) but the National Treasure movie was good fun. Not sure it needs a sequel though...

ENGLISHMAN said...

This is extremely tiresome,you seem to have taken youe eye off the ball.who is c johnson , and who cares,i do not know the man,and his opinions carry little weight with me ,he can call me racist to his hearts content,it is after all only a word,meanwhile we have bigger fish to fry,better to ask who stands with us against our rapidly increasing foe,and what we propose to do to destroy him.

Epaminondas said...

I'll say it again and again and again,... 'WHITE EUROPE' could and should have been repudiated. That it was not, is most likely because Dewinter simply didn't want to, preferring obfuscation instead..a clear surrender or message to many in his base.

Mr. Tancredo has NEVER said anything like that, and when he appeared before a CCC type group was appalled and gave it to his schedulers but good. There has been no repeat.

In other words, he did what was right. Ethically, morally, objectively and perceptively.

Mr. Miniter is simply factually in error, and all this depends on NO links but the one which leads directly to Mr Dewinter's own words and his failure to reject white europe.

I've told Charles and I will tell you again... you are both wrapped up in a personal battle, no one will be convinced of anything anymore ... just DROP IT.

If VB is for a white europe there is nothing you can say or do which not make the hole a mile deep. If they are NOT, I will be thrilled to be wrong.

That's the dead end this is all at.

PRCalDude said...

They conveneintly ignored the problems that would be faced by future generations when the age group demographics turned unfavorable, because many of them knew that they would be dead by then.

Ted Kennedy has even admitted as much.

PRCalDude said...

Mr. Miniter is simply factually in error, and all this depends on NO links but the one which leads directly to Mr Dewinter's own words and his failure to reject white europe.
What does this even mean? Aren't Europeans white? This is double-speak.

Archonix said...

I am not 100% certain. As I understand things, DeWinter once stated that he wanted a white europe and has not denied it since, at least not on record. The statement - if true, which currently seems very likely, though I am not 100% certain - is about the only substantial evidence left in the arsenal against VB as everything else has been demonstrated as false.

I think this issue needs clarifying. It may be a deliberate mistranslation, or may be a slip of the tongue, or it may be a genuine belief of DeWinter's. The thing is, the party doesn't act like a fascist or racist party. It's calling for small government, greater individual rights and so on and so forth. It's actions are similar to the actions a lot of Americans want to see from the republican party. The fundamental issue is resolved in this: a party of small government cannot by its nature be fascist. A nation with limited government powers cannot by its nature be fascist. Belgium as it currently stands is fascist in its very fabric, and VB want to dismantle all of that and replace it with a free-market, limited powers government. Smash the state, as it were...

If DeWinter really does want a white europe he's picked the wrong party to carry out his plans.

Ernest said...

I am not 100% certain. As I understand things, DeWinter once stated that he wanted a white europe and has not denied it since, at least not on record.

I guess I need to pay more attention. Huh? This is a bruhaha? Meaning what? He wants to live in a black Europe? I'm just not clear. Even if he said this what did it mean? He wants to annihilate people? He wants to maim or enslave people? I want to live in a majority white US. So what?

Sodra Djavul said...

It never ceases to amaze me how quickly my fellow Americans, who bristle at the accusation of "Imperialism," are willing to force this multi-cultural drivel down the throats of Europeans who wish to retain their traditional identity.

America is an exception to Western civilization, not the rule. In America, predominantly European cultures merged to form a common national, and yes, white identity, and the process was long and bloody.

I find the entire Leftist-defined concept of racism to be patently absurd. Throughout all of recorded human history, nothing so insidious has been inflicted upon a civilization. The theory of "racism" as used in common Leftist parlance can be succintly described as nothing more than a cultural variant of the AIDS virus, both in its function and ultimate end result.

Belgium was not founded by Africans. Sweden was not founded by Chinamen. Every nation has the natural right of self-preservation, to determine precisely which characteristics in applicants they wish to reward with citizenship. If Zimbabwe does not wish to confer citizenship upon white people, that is their right to do so.

Stop bitching about Dewinter desiring to keep his nation "white" as if that were some sort of secret thought-crime.

Last I checked, your average Belgian was quite paler than a brown paper bag. And if Dewinter wishes to keep it that way, I can't find fault. It is his country, after all.

- Sodra

ChenZhen said...

One of these days I'll figure out why so much energy has been put into this feud. I mean, it's a lot easier to just ignore LGF.

Lex said...

Wow, that must be the howler of the thread, the mention of Huckabee as being "too liberal" on certain issues. And by "Mr. Action" himself, Charlemagne! So Charle, any answers to my questions regarding what sort of "action" you want to take against Muslims? You never really elaborated before.

It's nice to see that things are business as usual here at GoV again. Baron's still thumping on the LGF/VB issue, Sodra is still somehow even more upset at LGF, PRCalDude is obsessively posting about being a white dude, who'd I miss?

Chen--it would be easier to ignore LGF, but would it be nearly as amusing? As for energy put into anything here, I'm rather more curious about the energy put into the CVF and calls for "action". Or Dymphna's emails (note Dennis the Peasant's new post on his own Dymphna email as well as how "creepy" this site and comments are). I won't link his post, as he doesn't want association with this site in even that form). I must note though, Dennis was "creeped out" by the very charlemagne/ethelred comments that I found disturbing.

Just get some popcorn and sit back and enjoy for now Chen. After all, people are calling LGF a "liberal site" here at this point. And they claim that LGF is the one in "uncharted territory". Egads.

ProFlandria said...

Epaminondas,

"I'll say it again and again and again,... 'WHITE EUROPE' could and should have been repudiated."

I'm going to use some terms here that may appear overly race-conscious, but I believe the statements will be objectively correct.

Historically speaking, Europe (especially Northern Europe) was overwhelmingly white until about 40years ago. For the sake of this argument I will include the Northern Mediterranean peoples in this definition; for example, Spaniards do not consider themselves Hispanic in opposition to "white", as is the case in the US.

Weak controls on legal immigration, and benign neglect towards illegal immigration, have caused a proportionally large influx of overwhelmingly "non-white" people. A large majority of these are Muslim. Muslim immigrants are the only ones who insist on having their host countries adjust to them, and are therefore the immigrants who are most visible in the public sphere - and that in an unfavorable way.

The recent "immigration" from the new European Union countries is "white", but even as this causes some friction (notably in the lower-skilled job market), anecdotally the reaction of your average European is favorable because these immigrants are industrious and do not suffer from the inflated sense of entitlement that half a century of Euro-socialism has infected many of its citizens with.

When Dewinter talks about a "white Europe" we don't have to reach back to the heady 1930's and notions of Aryan superiority to discern the idea behind the statement; we can simply reach back to about the mid-1960's and the advent of Europe's mass migration experiment. The former would be an expression of highly distasteful - and useless -nostalgia; the latter is a recognition of a demonstrable turning point in recent history. In short, "white" is here the opposite of "Muslim". I suppose that it would make more sense to say "Christian" - except for the fact that Europe is rapidly becoming secular. "White" is the only clear one-word descriptor that still fits the bill.

Epaminondas, I don't know your location on our benighted chunk of space debris, but I will venture the observation that the instant shiver up the spine caused by Dewinter's statement is most likely to occur in Americans. First and foremost, to talk of the United States as a "white" country would be factually wrong. While over time whites may have cornered the "power" market in the country, I would put that period between 1800 and 1950. Before, Native Americans were powerful enough to play British, French, and Dutch against each other. After 1950, African Americans and Hispanics started to compete for their share of "power" as well. Today, walk along almost any suburban American street and you will see people of all races. In Europe you have to go to at least a small city to see the same effect (tourist locations excepted of course).

In addition, US academics' infatuation with white guilt studies has also left its mark. I could not have formulated the argument above without unlearning some of the stuff I was taught in non-elective classes. Even harder was to shake off the insidious race/class/gender associations which were slipped into every other class I took (even Math).

The only Europeans who take issue with statements like Dewinter's are those who see Europe's developing multicultural society as beneficial - especially if they espouse the extreme position that all cultures are equally valid and that therefore, "immigrant" cultures should not be made to assimilate.

I am consciously mixing race/color with culture because at least in Europe (until recently), races were identified with specific cultures. To say that you favor a "white Europe" may make some people uncomfortable these days, but in the European context it is convenient shorthand for the collection of historical accretions referred to as "Western Civilization".

Kipling's White Man's Burden is no less "racist" than Dewinter's statement, and possible quite a bit more:

"Take up the White Man's burden--
Send forth the best ye breed--"

[We BREED!?]

"Your new-caught, sullen peoples,
Half-devil and half-child."

[Demonizing while infantilizing...]

"Watch sloth and heathen Folly
Bring all your hopes to nought."

{Lazy, crazy unbelievers]

As an aside, and as a caution to literal translation, the Flemish have a well-deserved reputation for blunt speech. I had a very anglophile upbringing (long story), but I still had to think before speaking when vacationing in England, and later when being posted to the U.S. Especially in the U.S. I was struck by how quickly people would perceive offense. The classic blunder my Mom still commits is to comment upon people's weight when seeing them again after two years. Her arms are akimbo, her frowning face quickly scans up and down. A quick tap on the midriff, and then: "Oh So-and-So, you've put on weight, haven't you?" In the sliding scale of conversational exchange, this is the American equivalent of the nuclear option. My wife just loves it when she does that...

One more anecdote: My Grandparents rented out beach appartments over the summer. As a child, I would spend the summer vacation with the children of their renters. I remember only one black girl (over the course of 12 years) from (then) Zaire. People would stare at us when we played on the beach, not because it was "unseemly", but because it was... rare, and therefore astonishing. We made more friends that way...